Home game jitters
It was one of the biggest concerns I had going into Game 3, and we saw it happen a little bit with the Nationals on Friday night.
With excitement in the city at an all-time high, and having not played a World Series game there in almost a century, you knew it was going to be difficult for the players to handle their emotions.
While it’s hard to really judge this from my living room, there were a couple of examples where it looked like guys were pressing more than usual.
Juan Soto overthrew a ball to home plate by a country mile. A throw that he usually makes, and if he did make a good throw he could have cut down a baserunner at the plate and saved a run.
Later we saw him mishandle a ball in the left field corner that allowed Jose Altuve to take third.
Those are the kinds of mental mistakes the Nationals didn’t make in the first two games.
And I’m not just picking on Soto here, You could certainly make the case that Rendon was pressing at the plate by swinging at those first pitches with runners on.
I get that the Nationals offense has thrived this postseson by being aggressive at the plate, but in those two at-bats it felt like they had Zack Greinke on the ropes.
That was especially true in the third when Greinke had just walked Eaton on five pitches to put two on with one out. Rendon came up and popped up on the first pitch and seemingly killed that rally.
There were a couple of throws from infielders that were unusually wild as well.
Maybe I’m making too much of it, but it certainly seemed like this was a team playing amped up with a lot of pressure in front of a jacked-up home crowd.
Hopefully they have those jitters out of the way and can settle down to play like they have been all postseason.